I'm going through the same thing with my friend. I tried not telling her how I felt and eventually just told her I liked her. We're still friends and talking on a regular basis. I believe if you tell this girl that you like her and she stops talking to you, then she is not a friend. Go for it my man
I ruined a friendship by asking a friend out. In all fairness though, the reason I stopped talking to her was not because she rejected me, but because the friendship was one sided and I usually had to make the effort.
I think if you have a good friend, no matter what you tell them they'll still stick around. One of my best friends found out I liked him and when he knew, he told me he wasn't ready for a relationship at the time but we still continued being good friends.
He ended up going down a path I didn't really like though so our friendship kind of ended for different reasons.